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No: 212, 24 July 2015, Press Release Concerning Turkey-US Understanding On Countering DEASH

Turkey and the US are two NATO allies who have extensive experience on joint assessment and joint action concerning collective defense and national security matters.

Inherent to this aspect of our relationship, being able to respond to common threats through collective efforts has always constituted a priority for both our countries.

When necessary, these matters are taken up at the level of Heads of State, as evidenced by the telephone conversation between President Erdoğan and President Obama on July 22.

The DEASH problem is a primary national security threat for Turkey. The dimensions of this threat are constantly growing.

While the wounds caused by the abhorrent terror attack that has claimed the lives of 32 of our citizens on July 20 are still fresh, the DEASH terrorist organization carried out an armed attack on July 23 against our troops assigned to a military-border post at Elbeyli, martyring a non-commissioned officer.

It is clear that these threats and attacks directed against our national security will receive the response they deserve.

Eliminating the threat posed by DEASH both within our borders as well as to our security has been an important aspect of the joint operational work conducted between Turkey and the US for some time now.

As a member of the International Coalition, Turkey had already been contributing to the Coalition’s efforts in Syria and Iraq during the past 10 months through the use of its own national assets and capabilities. It should be recalled that Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu announced in late June the granting of clearance for the deployment of armed UAVs.

As a continuation of this process, Turkey and the US have decided to further deepen their ongoing cooperation in the fight against DEASH.

In this context, the Council of Ministers, based on the mandate provided by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on October 2, 2014, has granted clearance for the deployment of manned and unmanned aircraft from the US and other Coalition members participating in air operations against DEASH, including a number of regional countries subject to Turkish approval. Naturally, elements of the Turkish Air Force will also be tasked with the same objective in these operations.

As of this morning, our jets have targeted certain DEASH elements in Syria, based on our right of self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter.

Details of this new cooperation, which is expected to provide significant contributions to the Coalition operations against DEASH, will not be disclosed at this time due to operational considerations.

In addition to ensuring Turkey's security and through the increased presence of airborne elements, permanently ensuring and bolstering the safety of the inhabitants who now live in areas under DEASH control will naturally be one of the expected outcomes of this cooperation.

These operations are carried out in accordance with international law. As such, the necessary notification has been communicated to the United Nations Security Council.